Grim Economic Outlook Grips Markets as Stocks Plummet

Stocks dropped even as central banks tried to prop up economies, indicating the tactics that helped in past financial crises might not work against a global pandemic.

Comments: 207

  1. Universal Basic Income Some of us progressives have always been fascinated with the idea of Universal Basic Income (UBI). Everyone over 18 years of age receives a monthly amount of money, say $1000. You heard it during the recent campaign but it is an idea that has been around for decades. It has been experimented with on large and small scales; and it works. People spend it and they feel secure and happy and they then start to look for a job they like and everyone grows and benefits. My rough data is that there are 250 million people 18 or over in US. So that's 250 billion a month. Yes, that's a pile of money but say we do it for 3 months as a test. That's three quarters of a trillion dollars, less than Trumps tax cut to the rich which was 1.9 trillion. Think big. How to get that money to everyone over 18 is the first problem. The banks would have to deal with this and everyone would need an ID card. Let's get started. It would save our country and we could extend it if needed. In 6 months we will have a handle on this virus and we can re-evaluate everything.

  2. Why would anyone expect small businesses or individuals to continue accruing debt during a pandemic and an eminent recession? How does anyone with a shred of critical thinking ability come to the conclusion that expanding the debt crisis in the United States would be the way to maintain the U.S. economy? Continuous economic growth and debt isn’t economically or environmentally sustainable. You’d think the the millionaires and billionaires would order their political henchmen to protect the poor and working classes in the U.S. rather than bailing themselves out of everything, seeing as the people who make them their money are the consumers who are barely scraping by trying to afford not only ‘luxury’ products or services, but also those products and services which are forced upon us by the powers at be (skyrocketing housing costs, medical bills/debt, stagnating wages, constant inflation across markets, increasing utilities costs, etc).

  3. @Logan Anderson Pay day loans answer your question?

  4. If you believe (add cynical laughter here) our Dear Leader, this will all go away by April. No big deal. No reason to test anyone. No reason to accept assistance, advice or make use of experience from the rest of the world. Of course what's important to Trump is for this not to derail the Trump Train. For the GOP, if it predominately kills off those who would otherwise vote for Democrats, or scares them away from the polls, just another weapon in the voter suppression arsenal. An additional benefit: If enough of the little people collecting Social Security or using Medicare and Medicaid benefits croak, no problem with us reducing the funding, lots of beneficiaries will be off the roll! What a field day that will be for the plutocrats and the GOP minions they pay off.

  5. I think it prudent to think of this economic response as an immune response. The question is, will this immune response be the over reaction that drowns us in our own fluids? The body can't always know how much to react when facing a new threat. But we've been down a similar road before. It is about time that we as a species had a little bit of self awareness. This disease has revealed the inherent fragility and instability of our economic systems. Our economy depends on people spending money they don't have and as soon as it stops this is what happens. Rapid devolution and collapse? Maybe we should use this as a learning opportunity. Maybe 'limitless' growth will finally die the death it deserves.

  6. The reaction of the market, going down, is a proper reaction by shareholders to the announcement of the Fed to drop the rates. It signals that it expects that the economy will get worse and that they are at end the little rope they have to help. we have already conflicting statements by a president, a self-proclaimed a expert in medicine and finance, and the medical establishment sowing confusion. An honest assessment of the expected infection growth curve and the expected fatalities (best with ranges) would allow planning and assessing the future. That would require some time, a board of experts and analysts. Once provided, the actual events could be tracked. Now all that the public has is a cacophony of voices and TV images.

  7. Consumer spending. Bars, restaurants, movies, malls, sports, trips - all taking huge hits. People worried they may not be able to go to work and may lose wages. Not buying the non-essentials. The market knows this and the market knows this latest "move" by The Trump Crime Family does nothing to address the real problem. Consumer Spending. It is dead in the water now and will continue to die until drastic measures are taken. The market knows.

  8. @Cate R You are spot on. For years I have listened to the financial experts say: "The consumer is 70% of this economy". Uh Oh.

  9. The best course of action for our health and people's well being (complete shutdown) is at odds with with the best course of action for the stock market . We know by know which one our president is going to choose. We are headed into a deep recession, at best, as a result of our executive branch cutting our CDC and not being prepared for this. I wonder if we will learn anything from this or, afterwards, we return to business as usual?

  10. @John Agree. Because Party bosses no longer vet candidates, and rely on Primaries to vet candidates for POTUS, perhaps the country needs another way to get the best and brightest to run for POTUS. 45 has demonstrated he cannot take responsibility for his actions, he cannot accept advise either spoken or written, and he is unable to see the "big picture". The dissolution of the NSC committee dealing with possible pandemics and his refusal to admit he had any role in that 2018 action speaks decibels above his denials. How do we keep incompetents out of the WH? Especially when the Senate Majority defends the unqualified occupant. "Better face a she-bear robbed of her cubs than a fool in his folly." (Proverbs 17.12)

  11. @John: It took an extreme present hedonist nation to settle for the worst of the type as its president.

  12. Well, a bankrupt America will be just another entry on Trump's list of bankruptcies. He's been on a roll since the 80's--why stop now. With that voluminous gut of his leading his every decision, you can literally bank on no bank.

  13. I had that same thought yesterday. It will take years to come back from all of the damage done in the last 3 years.

  14. @Cathy Moore I was estimating decades

  15. @SAJP ...and Putin is a happy man to see all this chaos and loss....his lackey Donny does his bidding...or else.

  16. "The economy" is telling Trump it has no faith in him, and probably never will again. Everything he has done - everything - has made matters worse. If he had just put consumers first - if he had just done that even when coming up with that phony tax cut - "the economy" would be a lot more solid and better equipped to handle an emergency that was so foreseeable that Obama had a task force dedicated to dealing with it - that Trump, of course, dismantled. Everything he has done has made matters worse.

  17. I think your headline writers might want to stop using the word "panic" to describe the market behavior. It's pretty easy to see a rational basis for selling, given the extent of uncertainty and the possibility that the worst cases within that uncertainty are very bad for economic performance.

  18. That unfettered capitalism, a rapacious economic system designed to allow big winners to kill little businesses and establish oligarchy over humanity, should be thusly unable to imbue the same humanity with a sense of economic hope, communitarianism and optimism necessary to create stability in markets? Who would have thought it?

  19. So much for having a "successful businessman" running the country.

  20. Trump's response has been brilliant ... decisive, immediate, cohesive and effective. I know this because he said it again and again at his press conference, and Pence followed up with more praise. Anyone who disputes his brilliance must be a Democrat because they, not the virus, are the only danger to Americans.

  21. @Dan Shiells I hope MIke Pence doesn't have any black-lights in his office.

  22. As an outsider to the economically credentialed, I've always seen two economic perspectives at play: the Gordon Gecko economy of Wall Street, kind of a Monopoly game that plays with money as money, buying stocks, buying back stocks, selling stocks, shifting to bonds, riding high above the folks slogging around the second perspective. That encompasses the give and take of production of goods and services, manufacturing, logistics, distribution, sales, purchasing, payrolls, and paying the bills. The further these two embodiments pull apart, the more likely they'll simply reverse course and crash into each other, breaking both into pieces. They two now seem headed toward one another at warp speed, faster than was imaginable even two weeks ago. Trump still seems to think that, like Captain Marvel, he can stand between them, hands outstretched, and keep them apart with lowered interest rates and magical tweets. He cannot. I'm not sure what the presidential version is of "cut and run," but that could very well be next on the Trump agenda. We'll see. That's the one certainty here: we will see. Nowhere to run from that.

  23. Close the markets for a week. The minute to minute drama is not going to help anything, and people use poor judgment when fear is this dominant in the media. Turn off the news, pull a chair to a nice spot in your house, read a book you love, take a nap, make dinner, and clean the dishes by hand. Call older people you know and help them out. This behavior is bananas...

  24. Just beginning to appreciate the degree of "stiff upper lip" it takes to "Stay Calm and Carry On" like Londoners during the blitz. Death and destruction seem to be lurking - - - but at least we're not being bombed.

  25. So at this point, is the solution to our myriad issues a tax cut for the rich or dollars from the Fed for Wall Street?

  26. Never thought the phrase "March Madness" would ever pertain to a pandemic, especially in my lifetime. A sincere thanks to the many individuals who are on the front lines, helping and caring for those who have contracted this horrific virus. Thanks to the dedicated New York Times staff for the constant updating of news in general, and in particular, the coronavirus. It's your thorough reporting and accurate coverage that allows me to feel at least I know what is going on rather than being in the dark.

  27. @Marge Keller March Madness. I'm stealing that one.

  28. @Bill Be my guest Bill and steal away.

  29. 45 is on the path to erratically handle this health crisis. Whatever he is doing, is not working and with immediate negative results. Insanity! The Federal Reserve had lowered interest rate over a week ago and nothing happened. So they do it again and expect positive results. Not understanding the nature of the crisis certainly makes it difficult to combat the challenges that await our nation.

  30. @freeasabird - - - If you think any president just orders the the Federal Reserve to do this and not that, you are brand new to the news cycle.

  31. And Secy Mnuchin wants to weaken Dodd Frank to give more economic powers back to the President, whose every move thus far has weakened the economy and the country. I'm sure Trump's only thought right now is cooking up a multi-billion dollar relief package for luxury hotels.

  32. But why is the market going down when Trump said they are gonna be very happy? I think he even called a 100bps rate cut on a SUNDAY a great day. I'm so confused. Could Trump have been wrong?

  33. @Mark was he ever right?

  34. The Fed cut is moronic at best. It simply helps Trump and his buddies cut their losses while the little people still get crushed by the loss of working hours, customers, etc. We need a stimulus to support medical care and to combat the virus. That's the issue... And then we need a stimulus directed towards putting people to work doing something that benefits the country like infrastructure spending. A stimulus to help banks and their cronies is SUCH A WASTE!

  35. Billionaires should be pouring money into Biden SuperPACs. And the PACs should be brutal in their ads against trump which he’s making very easy because of his incompetence. Kick him while he’s down. He’s not actually making a difference in the coronavirus fight — that machine is running on its own right now.

  36. What can possibly go wrong doing something Trump wants?

  37. “The Art of the Deal” — The world’s funniest work of non-fiction as ghostwritten by the world’s funniest comedian

  38. The ultimate irony is that a germ defeats a germophobe.

  39. Less than 24 hrs ago Trump was threatening to remove Fed Chairman Powell. You don't pour gasoline on a fire. If that doesn't scream "TRUMP IS INCOMPETENT", what does? Have all Conservatives lost their minds, and they don't realize how irresponsible this statement was? Trump needs to go!

  40. @Martin ...and Pence

  41. So glad that our self-appointed doctor and brilliant economist is in charge.

  42. The public has lost confidence in the president a while back. The market reflects this uncertainty. Trump, Mnuchin, and Pence should not make any further public announcements. Maybe just Birx, and Fauci, and a general that is not full of baloney?

  43. When Trump speaks, markets listen - and bail.

  44. Evidently not all problems can be fixed by throwing money at them. A lesson that DJT never learns.

  45. Slashing interest rates is not enough. Now is the time to save the citizens of this country by eliminating all student debt and providing free medical care for everyone. America is a blowhard when it comes to family value, however, it has done nothing to promote it. In this time of crisis, especially for our youth, education and health care must move from the clutches of capitalism to humanity. To all political parties: once you free the human mind from fear of the unknown and financial debt, then and only then will the citizens have the peace of mind to overcome the panic caused by Covid-19, and begin to heal and become a productive nation. The government owns student loans; with a flick of the pen it can eliminate them. The government is well aware of the affects of Covid-19; with a flick of the pen it can provide free healthcare for all. Now is the time to put your money where your mouth has been. Now is the time to rise-up and protect the citizens from further harm.

  46. @JustMe These ideas like their promoter, Bernie Sanders, are being crushed and eliminated by Joe Biden. Biden saved us from Ebola. Biden saved the US economy once under Obama. He will do it again. Biden will bring us the first female woman of color president after his term. The stock market is a problem for rich whites, not people of color. Biden Harris 2020.

  47. @JustMe Since when can the government turn 180 degrees with a flick of a pen? Lets throw everyone under the bus who work in the private healthcare industry? You are talking millions. We as a nation need to vote into office people who will work on restructuring our healthcare system to bring about universal insurance. What good will eliminating student debt do now when we are facing a global recession and may need money to rescue the economy which we rely on for the majority of our employment. Eventually student debt needs to be restructured to eliminate usury interest rates. Public institutions of higher learning need to go back to providing near free tuition and stop building fancy sports facilities and dorms. Ditto for private colleges. Bernie Sanders has a plan for restructuring our entire system without a plan to how exactly this can come to be as these plans need to be funneled through congress. Positive change must be incremental or there will be no change.

  48. @JustMe I can think of a lot of things I’d rather pay for than the educational debt of America’s elite who blew a quarter of a million dollars on a tony private college.

  49. Close the market for a couple of weeks - what’s the point?

  50. The White House learned that when it comes to the messaging of the Coronavirus crises it is best to let Trump read the teleprompter then rush off and avoid tacking any questions. Perhaps they can apply a similar approach to the stock market. Get him to stop interfering with the Federal Reserve and to stop making falls claim about how great things will be for the stock market and investors. He was lucky enough to have inherited the best economy an incoming President could have wished for and now he has ruined it. He is the king of chaos.

  51. Well. If only Trump has warned us that he will run the government exactly as he ran his business. That Donald really blindsided us.

  52. @Opinioned! As a concerned citizen of Canada I have never understood why so many of your fellow citizens voted for the con man. Everybody with a brain knew when he came down that escalator in Trump Tower what would happen,

  53. @Opinioned! Brilliant, He is King Minus

  54. Good one. I would laugh , but my college age daughter has been running a fever for the last few days and I’m a little freaked out.

  55. The Fed panicked just like the shoppers at the grocery stores. I would not be surprised if the Feds were trying to please his majesty.

  56. The Fed will do anything to juice the speculative stock markets.

  57. @Bill Jones Is there any other kind of stock market?

  58. Any CEO from a company whose value nosedived precipitously multiple times would have been fired in hours.

  59. @MrDeepState . Yes, we'll see what happens in November. So far, Trump is mismanaging this crisis about as well as he did his casinos before they went bankrupt.

  60. SARS-CoV-2 is a minor pandemic. It will cause the death of older, sicker people who are, for the most part, not actually contributing to the economy (I include many CEOs in this assessment). What is revealed is that much of our vaunted human activity is silly, unneeded, basically useless. It also reveals the total lack of commonsense and human empathy available to most of the pundits and architects of our economy. The federal government could, in this time of panic and despair, provide a basic income for all its citizens for a few weeks until the crisis is past. At that point we can go back to our usual frivolity.

  61. @Elwood While I agree with you about money in our pockets, I don't think that we will ever go back to "our usual frivolity." The economic system has been in distress ever since 1972 or there abouts, and got worse under Reagan and Clinton etc. No, I think we will look back and see the frivolity of our past and current leadership. No deep thinking goes on any longer.

  62. @Elwood How odd. Your despicable notion that culling the herd of the "non-contributing' members of society is then matched by your semi-compassionate, though muddled, plea for a basic income (but just for a minute or two--and like Andrew Yang, I bet, set at too low a rate). Why pay that income to those who are soon to die anyway? Perhaps it would be better to do a new kind of means test--the only people who get the money have to prove that they are young, healthy and "contributing."

  63. @Genugshoyn If you say so. I was thinking about $1000/week/person for a month, no means test. Think of the ages of our Congress and the Executive. Wouldn't the country be better off with less of these squirrel brains? Furthermore, at no time did I suggest "culling" or not treating. I merely pointed out that the population at risk is not engaging in much useful activity.

  64. I understand the panic. By cutting rates, the Fed just proved that they are following the dictates of a clueless leader. They are pushing interest rates down at a time when nobody who need to borrow can borrow - and nobody who can borrow needs to borrow. By failing to provide a credible rationale they just proved that Trump is in charge - RUN FOR THE DOORS.

  65. Agreed. Plus, the Fed just fired their last bullet while the beast is still coming. I find it ironic that Trump and his minions are mocking people for overreacting and panicking. Trump bullying the Fed is an action of panic because he sees his presidency going up in flames. Also ironic, because he still doesn’t realize that the American people want real leadership in a time of crisis.

  66. So true. This crisis has laid Trump bare. A reality TV show host who can milk a crowd but, aside from that, has zero attributes leadership. If one of the side effects of this current crisis is seeing Trump relegated and sent back to hosting his second rate TV show, then that will be some kind of consolation.

  67. @David A pathogenical liar And yes lazy from day 1. He even looked sluggish dancing with Melania on Inaugurgation Day, Not as energetic as Sean Spicer's TV dancing though. Around inflating Inauguration Day crowd sizes both Donald and Sean displayed tremendous energy. That issue was an anomalous grim warning right at the start; a warning ignored. It was ridiculous... and we end with this.

  68. I know very little about the stock market, but I do know that Trump can absolutely not bend the market to his will. We are in a crisis. His threat to fire J Powell if he didn't lower interest rates didn't work. Trump's economic acumen has always been suspect. Trump has no idea what he is doing and he has no idea what to do. Going with his gut can only take one so far. He can't even give the American people a sense of calm because he has never developed any compassion, any sincerity, or any empathy. We must look to others to get us through this.

  69. Totally agree, we must look to each other for support to get through the crises. Trump and his sycophants have proved time and again they could care less about us.

  70. Dear NYT, I don't usually comment but I'm adding this to all of your Covid-19 articles today: while I think your coverage has been excellent and vital in the void of leadership in which we find ourselves, please be more aware that many people's anxiety levels are sky-high, and that multiple disturbing headlines can exacerbate this. I highly recommend that you institute a mindfulness / self care section at the very top of your page online, just under the masthead, for balance. The position of this is key. Thanks for your coverage and often excellent journalism.

  71. They did this very early on. At the top of both the mobile coronavirus site and the app is a section titled How to Cope. It includes headlines with the phrases “take a deep breath,” “keep calm, carry on,” and “wash your hands.”

  72. Agreed!

  73. There was an article in the Florida newspapers about a cruise ship that docked in the last week. Before passengers disembarked, they got a notice that a customer from a previous trip on the ship was diagnosed with the Coronavirus. Passengers expected to be questioned/ tested before they left to go home. That was not the case, no questions or tests. Until businesses really start to understand their role in this, the virus will continue to spread.

  74. @JCAZ I hope there’s not a big bail out for the cruise industry. Though I’ve been on a cruise and I enjoyed it, There is no way to protect people from illness, and that was before the coronavirus. It’s unlikely I would ever take a cruise again. That’s probably true of a lot of other people. This is a nonessential industry, and those bail out tax dollars should go to other priorities that are essential, like bail outs for small businesses and even airlines. One further point, when we think of small businesses we think of a little mom and pop businesses, but the federal government define small business is One further point, when we think of small businesses we think of little mom and pop businesses, but the federal government defines small businesses ridiculously. Some of those supposedly small businesses are pretty darn big. There needs to be some careful scrutiny with any kind of bail outs. Other than essential goods and services, like food and healthcare, small business bail out should start with the smallest and move upward. We have two small businesses in my family. Hopefully getting money to keep them afloat won’t require expensive legal advice and tons of paperwork. These are lifelong businesses that have served their community as well, like many other small businesses.

  75. Many people, including my family members in Wisconsin, protest-voted against both Clinton and Trump in the last election by writing in nonsense candidates. Today, their investment and retirement accounts are not looking so well. This ought to be a reminder to them that elections have consequences. Clinton would have by no means been a perfect president. But I am 99.9% sure that she would not have gutted the emergency preparations that Trump did. We can talk all day long about the annoyance of having only 2 candidates to choose from in presidential elections. But people who protest vote know that one of the two will become the president. And I hope they understand what they have brought upon themselves and others with their juvenile choice.

  76. @S in addition, sexism was a bigger factor than we thought in people not voting for Clinton. Sexism kills. That’s been true in many other ways in the past, like the proportion of women in poverty in without healthcare. And the number of single mothers without the same. But today were seeing another side of that ugliness.

  77. Help me understand how lower interest rates and snapping up more debt patches global supply chains, helps critical medical personnel get to work when their children can’t go to school or helps workers with no paid leave pay the rent and buy the basics when their places of work are shuttered up? Cheap loans will only make it easier for the already wealthy to snap up small businesses and more real estate at bargain basement prices—and further widen the wealth gap that is swallowing up our country.

  78. I’m deathly afraid that I might lose both of my elderly parents with underlying health issues and my aging but otherwise healthy aunt to this virus, all of which are in the UK far from where I am now, and beyond my reach. If that happens, my tiny family will be obliterated in one fell swoop. Will there be anyone or anything to blame for this compounded tragedy, or is biology ruthlessly doing what biology does? There is certainly a political failure because of western governments’ reticence to act sooner. This failure is compounded by certain nations, such as the US, perpetual refusal to offer a centralised, high quality, and universally accessible healthcare system. Where socialised medicine exists, it is underfunded, under equipped, and understaffed and always ripe for attack by predatory policies. Here, in Alberta, the Conservative government recently announced 6,000 job cuts to frontline health workers in an effort to madly balance the budget at a time when the oil industry has been ravaged and the provincial economy all but destroyed by too many eggs in one basket. Quietly, in the face of Covid 19, those cuts have been temporarily rescinded. If anything good emerges from this unprecedented event, it should be that we question social values. How can stock portfolios be more valuable than lives? How can political ideologies deplete healthcare when obscene amounts are squandered on military spending? I don’t want an invincible army, I want my family.

  79. @Marcus Brant - "Will there be anyone or anything to blame for this compounded tragedy, or is biology ruthlessly doing what biology does?" All recent deadly viral diseases have originated in birds and/or animals that have come into contact with humans. Such interactions are in part because humans are destroying birds and animals habitats, leaving them little space and no choice but to approach human communities.

  80. @Marcus Brant what? you don't want to put five more aircraft carriers on the national credit card?

  81. Yet more proof that the stock market is one of humanity's worse inventions. A relatively few people decide to gamble their money, and the rest of us suffer the consequences. It is completely unfair.

  82. I wrote a comment, published by the NYTimes, many months ago stressing the importance of reviewing the minimum qualification for the Office of the President of the US. The conclusions expressed in that comment hold even more today. Donald Trump's performance is the reason why. We can never put ourselves in such a vulnerable position again. Selfless, leadership in a time of crisis, combined with intelligence, experience, level headed ness and the ability to clearly articulate a fact based analysis of the situation is imperative. Trump displays none of these characteristics or behaviors. He embellishes, openly lies, ignores data and facts based on science, and deflects. His "we got this" approach is demeaning and ignorant in the face of daily chaos that continues to unfold under his administration. As such, Congress needs to establish minimum qualifications for the office based on relevant experience and education, and character. The older requirement of citizenship and age are at best minimums and, as we've seen, out of date. It's time to protect ourselves from the likes of another con artist like Donald Trump.

  83. @Harley Leiber: People who voted for Trump without seeing his tax returns leave little doubt that their problems are of their own making.

  84. @Harley Leiber Yes--but what are the algorithms to evaluate character? And who would decide?

  85. The algorithms have spoken.

  86. I hope that it is dawning on America that the problem with the stock market, the economy, and the coronavirus response is the incompetence of Donald Trump. He must resign as a first step towards dealing with all of these issues. He's dug us a deep hole, but the trouble is that he's still digging. He must go. Now.

  87. Everyone knew that the rate cut wouldn't matter. I guess no one told Trump.

  88. @Jordan: The rate cut forces many to eat their capital.

  89. From the Stable Genius on Saturday, just two days ago: "...I was honored to see that the stock market — you were mostly there with us — set a record in a short period of time — over a 45-minute period that we had the press conference yesterday in the Rose Garden. That was a record. All-time record. I think we should do one of them every day, perhaps. How about every — how about five times a day? We’ll do one five times a day. But that was something to watch. And I had no idea. We walked back, I said, “So how did that work out?” They said, “Sir, you just set a new record in the history of the stock market.” So that was pretty good..." Let his words sink in a bit. You'll realize he is clueless. The experts have no doubt told him many times what will really happen with this crisis, but he chooses to ignore them. "...All-time record...We'll do one five times a day...They said, “Sir, you just set a new record in the history of the stock market.” So that was pretty good. " PATHETIC!

  90. @Bill: Trump is a motormouth who tramples all around him.

  91. @Bill He won't like it when they don't call him "sir" in jail.

  92. @Bill There is an excellent commentary by Daniel Dale of CNN who notes that whenever Trump uses the word “Sir” in an anecdote, he is simply making things up — what the rest of us call lying.

  93. Might also be a good time to be grateful to all those people whose work keep the hospitals going, the deliveries coming, and the supermarkets stocked. Many of them are hit by school closures, having to find ways to go to work while their kids can't go to school. How about a federal program sending cash vouchers especially to all parents who have to keep working while having to organize childcare? Remember, unlike the summer school break, this came with warning or preparation, and you can't really send your kids to "Spring Camp", since that would defeat the social distancing the school closures are supposed to achieve.

  94. It has taken a microscopic organism to bring to light that Trump is ill prepared to lead a lemonade stand, never mind a country. Some of us knew that fact from the first months of his administration, others are discovering the truth now. Unfortunately many will still follow him at their peril. As my grandmother used to say if you've got your health you have everything. Hopefully the scientists and doctors will do their best to help us with the health part. Just keep Trump away from that part of the equation.

  95. @RDM 8 It reminds one of War of the Worlds - martians come to conquer earth and are defeated by local viruses - pride goeth before a fall, does it not? And a "corona" is, after all, a crown...in Spanish, no less. I think it's safe to say Trump has more pride than perspicacity. It's also safe to say he doesn't know what perspicacity means.

  96. @RDM 8 His inability to "run" anything was clear from before his descent down the golden elevator. Bankrupting a casino, anyone?

  97. @Paul Longhouse ok, i had to look it up, but the shoe definitely fits!

  98. Now we know what the workers felt like in the Trump Casino as it went down the financial drain.

  99. @Bascom Hill While investors received four cents on the dollar after bankruptcy

  100. The precipitous drop was caused "by" not "in spite of" the FED's move . He knows better. He should resign. What if Dr Fauci caved to Trump's pressure.

  101. @John I wonder if Dr Fauci's new connection with this president will tarnish his reputation. Not by anything he's doing, but simply the association with an inept administration.

  102. Listened to the Macro Musings podcast today, recommendation for the economy is to get testing and medical plan in place. Without a plan, companies and individuals can't make decisions, economic activity will be down, supply chains will be stalled. Trump and Pence have no idea how to implement a plan, every time they speak they increase confusion, suppressing economic activity. It's going to be a rocky road until they move on.

  103. Fortunately we have Biden waiting in the wings to save us. As he has pointed out he is the one who conquered Ebola. He crushed that socialist firebrand Sanders. He will unite all Americans because of his integrity and vision and ideas. His election is critical to the preservation of the health care industry which we need more than ever. He will be able to stand tall and create a new America with jobs and prosperity for all. With Biden as the heir apparent I am buying as much health care stock as I can. And then we will have two terms of a woman of color so the the US can expect 12 years of stability and prosperity after this Trumpian nightmare. Biden Harris 2020. I only wish the election was tomorrow.

  104. @SF I only hope it happens at all.

  105. Any government or any government leader is powerless to stop herd behavior. Once people have been goaded into panic partly by the media and partly by the fear of the unknown it is difficult to stop it.

  106. @Oracle at Delphi The only sense of “panic” I have seen is a run on toilet paper. And that was probably caused by the President casually mentioning—without thinking, as usual—that he might place restrictions on domestic travel. People do not want to be stuck at home for weeks without food or toilet paper, so even that “panic” has a rational basis. The stick market seems entirely rational. What evidence are you seeing of panic?

  107. Anyone with even a cursory understanding of monetary policy and economics (which does not include our president) knows that an interest rate cut won't make much of a difference, if any, right now. A few things worth pondering: 1. The only reason the Fed could even make this move is because it hasn't been listening to Trump for the past 6 months. If it had listened to him, interest rates would have already been at 0 and they wouldn't have had any room to move. 2. All Trump understands about interest rates is that the lower they are, the more cheaply he can borrow money. Which really isn't the solution to the problem we are now facing (and the market understands that, even though the president clearly doesn't).

  108. Hello there, I totally agree with your point of view. This is the reason why the FED is an independent branch and this actions signals why we need to keep it this way. Nevertheless, other branches like the Supreme Court , that are independent, clearly seem to respond to what the president wants.

  109. @David. Seems no branch is indepedent with the GOP in charge. Next.

  110. @Concerned Citizen The Supreme Court is supposed to be fully independent but since Gore vs Bush I have had very serious doubts about the justices' own biases.

  111. a great day for the fight against climate change -- or are we not talking about climate change today? my agèd my mother embroidered the sampler over my iron stove: when the stock market tanks the climate says, "thanks!" COVID-19 shows us that most of what we do to create wealth is not something we'd still do if it made us sick. it brings us a little closer, spiritually, to mother earth ... we can experience a little of the sickness of our ecological depredation and resource depletion, which is of course how these novel viruses are churned up out of the animal population. do the chinese actually eat bats and acquire the virus through food preparation? or do they merely rummage in old attics, and disrupt sickly bats in their sleep? (do the chinese even have attics in all those high rise shanghai condos?) who cares. bats, rats, pigs, chickens, whatever. they've got it bad, they're infected, and they're coming for you. so, selfie nation, take a selfie of yourself this morning! today is the day you finally asked the mirror: "where do we think we are going with all this technological wealth generating progress, and what to we expect to find when we get there?"

  112. My husband asked me yesterday that if the concern over climate change had faded from the public consciousness since the coverage on Covid-19 virus began. While following public health experts’ guidance on preparation for Covid-19, I would continue to curtail my usage of plastic shopping bags etc. and to continue practicing the 3 Rs. As a consumer in a developed country known to generate a disproportionate amount of waste per capita, I would continue to do my part, however modest, in reducing that statistics. BTW, the hunting community didn’t seem too concerned about the deer wasting disease.

  113. Well, at least we know trump is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He must be apoplectic by now. That's some comfort, however small.

  114. @BKB It's not so bad on the golf course. He's counting the savings that the interest rate reduction gave him.

  115. Seems throwing money at a problem doesn't work????? Maybe time to focus on the fact that this is a public health emergency, people are out of work and need immediate help.

  116. The movie that will be made about the story of this time will be devastating to the legacy of this one term “president”. Think about how much more confidence a smart, strong, compassionate leader could be inspiring. Think about the great war time leaders of history and how while they may have been freaking out privately they used words to inspire. The Torah says words matter, and they have absolutely mattered in every aspect of this crisis. WORDS MATTER.

  117. @beth The movie will be called, "Unpresidented".

  118. @beth These will be the words that are Donald Trump’s legacy: “I alone can fix it” and “I do not take responsibility.”

  119. Can Socialism save Capitalism? Stay tuned.

  120. Our comforting conviction that the world makes sense rests on a secure foundation: our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance. Daniel Kahneman

  121. @Vision.-.Revision "Our almost unlimited ability to ignore our ignorance." A human quality that Trump has in spades - indeed, he's probably "the best" in this regard.

  122. If everyone got tested would you go about your daily life? If you knew the person working next to you was tested and cleared would you not worry about going to work?. If you knew those shopping next to you was tested and cleared, would you shop more? If you knew that those who rode public transportation were tested would you worry about taking mass transportation? Unfortunately that's won't happen for a long time because for the last three month the President would not accept the science regarding the spread of a disease like the corona virus, somehow he actually believed he was so omnipresent that he could wish it away and it almost seems as that was his administration policy. Just like hurricane Katrina the republican administration in charge did nothing until it was almost too late. It was the republican president saying good job "Brownie" than and now it's the banana republicans saying "Good job trump"! Nothing changes the poor and the weak are left to pay the price with their lives!

  123. @Harvey Brownstein would everyone get tested every day? Because the non-symptomatic can still transmit the disease. One time or periodic testing would result in a lot of false negatives.

  124. @Rich the asymptomatic would be tested. Some would be tested more than once. But having testing easily available can eliminate much uncertainty. It's not perfect but it can reduce the fear and get us back to work. Right now we have NOTHING but fear and mixed messages!

  125. @Harvey Brownstein We can choose to make a catastrophe work for us, as we did (well, for white folks) after the Great Depression and WWII with the New Deal and the GI Bill. Or we can choose to let the rich use a catastrophe to grift the rest of us out of what little wealth we have—as we did after the Great Recession of 2008.

  126. So are we better now than three years ago? Ignore Mother Nature and science at your own peril.

  127. @Peabody: Failure to enforce "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" puts people like Mike Pence in charge to pray for divine intervention.

  128. The worst thing about COVID-19 is that it makes it questionably sensible to fill the streets of DC in protest and demand this man’s resignation. Democratic leaders in safe districts could start regularly mentioning in interviews that he should leave office of his own volition. He probably wants to anyway. Resign!

  129. Mother nature 'Trumps" money every time.

  130. "Wall Street" got everything it thought it wanted with Trump: the tax cuts, cheap money, no threat of more regulations or active enforcement of existing ones. It turns out there's a cost - - only we will all collectively pay the price for shortsighted greed.

  131. @cheryl the rich just couldn't stop their insane greed.....anything for money, no? now the chickens are coming home to roost. what did they think would happen? even i could have predicted the result.

  132. Conventional monetary and fiscal policy will not be effective against a recession that is unfolding in a matter of weeks, not months. Congress has to write an emergency spending bill that provides direct cash assistance to small business owners and employees who face immediate bankruptcy and unemployment. We need those businesses and employees to financially survive this crisis and still be there when we all emerge from our homes in a few months. This is an unprecedented crisis and Congress needs to fight this economic war, not the last one.

  133. The sky is falling. Not really, but is this the start of the 2nd Great Depression? I have been waiting years for a "huge correction". I believe it will not be the steep drop like 1929, but a series of large drops, which is precisely what is happening now. "Water will seeking it's own level" is phrase originally used in the construction industry but applies in many forms. I think this is one of them.

  134. It's an appropriate time to remember that DT did not, as he likes to imply, earn a graduate degree in business. He attended Wharton undergrad after transferring from Fordham. Was the transfer based on his grades or a check?

  135. @GreaterMetropolitanArea Trump got kicked out of Fordham after his junior year. His Dad them bought him a spot at Penn so he wouldn't get drafted.

  136. So . . . According to Forbes, the stock market was up 235% in eight years under Obama and is up 9% in over three years under Trump. Looks like the 1% who own half the stocks have voted.

  137. The Fed's actions aren't going to help because this is not a financial crisis or a liquidity crisis or any of the other secular economic crises that the Fed can ameliorate. This is a faith crisis and not a secular crisis. It's a crisis of faith in the executive branch's leadership. Investors have lost faith in Trump's ability to lead the nation. Until that is resolved, no amount of financial intervention will do more than slow the bleeding. Relief can come from Congress or the voters. Congress could be quicker, but it appears deadlocked by partisan politics.

  138. Consumers are hunkered down. No stimulus to the economy is going to change that reality. Scarier than the virus causing this is the fact that Trump is the president as we head into what’s looking more and more like an inevitable economic crisis. Is it a moderate that we need leading the country, then, or a radical who believes in strong government action instead of the current president?

  139. @Concerned Citizen up Yes. He suggested that the National Guard be called in to manage the crisis.

  140. @Concerned Citizen A good president (or even a mediocre or bad one along the lines of Bush 2) would not have closed down the pandemic response unit, would have accepted testing kits from WHO, would have made sure our nation was prepared to deal with this. Unlike Trump's 'who could have known' this would happen, schtick, we ALL knew something like this was possible and smart people in government had been preparing for it for years before Trump pulled the plug.

  141. @Concerned Citizen I would take "Sleepy Joe Biden" any day over "Do Nothing It's-All-About-Me Bankrupt Clown" any day. At least Biden knows that this is a crisis which is deteriorating daily. Does Trump even get it?

  142. trump has to resign. Only that will restore confidence.

  143. trump is looking at a one bedroom efficiency near Orlando.

  144. @jim jennings a with bars on the doors and windows

  145. I have confidence that the .001%, America's the corporate leaders, are reading and observing the same Trump madness I am reading. While 40% of the public chooses to remain ignorant and support Trump, the .001% cannot afford to let their airline companies, their manufacturing companies, their banks, etc., etc., get flushed down the toilet because of one man who is obviously deranged and incapable. I gotta believe that the JP Morgans of our time are watching this horror show unfold and are making plans to remove Trump. At least I hope so.

  146. Doesn’t the politics of truth shape perception, and isn’t perception reality? We have it all wrong! We must stop reading bad news. The fake news media must do its part and stop reporting bad news. It scares the public! We must all do our part! We must start perceiving like patriots, and reality as we perceive it will follow. This is a only a national emergency because we perceive it that way! We must stop being so negative! Disclaimer: Please do not take the above comments seriously. Please do take the pandemic and economic situation seriously enough to educate others about flattening the curve. Participate to move governmental changes forward worldwide.

  147. @Daniel Kauffman Sadly, there are people on FB who would be nodding vigorously at the first paragraphs of your post. They claim that everything is fake news and unjustified hysteria and that we should go out and "support our local businesses" by going to stores and restaurants. :(

  148. "Wall Street Plummets Despite the Fed’s Support: Live Updates By The New York Times" Interpretation: With the Federal Reserve rate at 0%, the banks, stock brokerage house, investment bankers, short sellers will all be having a "shark feast" shorting stocks to make a killing at the expense of the masses.

  149. Obviously, nobody is listening or believing anything Mr Trump says or does. His mis-information, steps and temporary posts are a fallout of confidence to our Nation.

  150. @al only 50% of our country believes him: tragic!

  151. The present critical situation has raised multiple problems in America. The American government hasn’t taken real effective steps to boost the morale of its citizens other than helping businessmen. 1) The Fed interest cut might help business owners and those taking new loans such as student loan, home loan etc but won’t help those, who have already taken loans for their homes, cars, furniture, studies, wedding etc. 2) A number of big firms are reducing their staff taking undue advantage of the present crisis as if these firms earned nothing previously. 3) American Banks used to pay negligible interest to their customers earlier and now due to the present rate cut, the amount kept in Banks is same as that kept at home. 3) Since American government never encouraged small savings and being spending economy, Americans are compelled to invest their savings in stocks, which is in doldrums for quite sometime. Only those people, who keep it in stocks for a longer period can afford to recover. 4) Perhaps American Bonds also won’t give any good return. 5) Payroll tax cut will not help employees at all. It’s nothing but employees’ own saving. Taking the money early from their savings will deprive them off their savings in their long run especially post retirement. 6) Americans are very happy that Nancy Pelosi has successfully helped in passing stimulus package but the editorial of the New York Times reveals something else also.

  152. Remember the go-go years of the Clinton administration, during which everyone was eagerly anticipating the Dow hitting 10,000? Remember the end of the GWBush administration, during which everyone was horrified watching the Dow hit 10,000 again, from the opposite direction? I know which of the two I preferred.

  153. An “Act of God” is defined as an “instance of natural forces in operation” which alleviate personal responsibility. How ironic that we are watching the sinfully prideful Trump Administration being brought to its knees in its ineptitude by an Act of God. Pride goeth before a fall. Trump’s right wing “religious” leaders would do well to open their Bibles and actually read. Jesus NEVER called his followers to place allegiance to ANY political force. To do so borders on idolatry, and it distracts the Church from its true mission. Even worse, by conflating political power with “religion”, it absolutely neuters the spiritual credibility of that religion to address the real needs of the moment. For example, in this hour of uncertainty, would anyone seriously listen to a “religious leader” who is really a politician in sheep’s clothing for comfort? Not me. True faith is based on a personal relationship with God, not Caesar.

  154. Yahoo News is reporting this tidbit of ironic news: "The co-founder of Chinese online marketplace Alibaba (BABA) has sent a shipment of surgical masks and coronavirus test kits to the United States. Chinese billionaire Jack Ma posted two pictures of pallets of the supplies being loaded on to a China Eastern Airlines jet in Shanghai. Ma, who is Asia's richest person, pledged to donate 500,000 testing kits and one million masks to America earlier this month. Read more: Coronavirus — live updates from across the world The tweet read: “The first shipment of masks and coronavirus test kits to the US is taking off from Shanghai. All the best to our friends in America.”

  155. @Paul-A Trump should take a lesson.

  156. Just shows how nasty Trump is, always looking for a fall guy. The Head of the Fed did not deserve his nastiness.

  157. Golly gee, what is our stable genius going to do now?

  158. One wonders if financial indexes will reset to their values when Trump took office. What a gas it is to live in a nation where a sadomasochistic monomaniac presides.

  159. Let’s just hope that 2020 is a year with few other natural disasters because help will not be on its way.

  160. Headline proposals for the Daily News: Trump Lays an Egg. Wall St to Trump: Drop Dead

  161. The only method could save America is Trump resign!

  162. Great. And now because of the fed’s knee jerk reaction to our bankrupt president’s bullying over the weekend, we have zero financial levers to pull. I can’t wait for November’s ejection. Trump will get trounced.

  163. @Brooklyn Dog Geek FALSE. Taxes can and should be raised. Maybe that will be Mike’s new message.

  164. @Brooklyn Dog Geek sorry bro, we were finished when the great he got elected! half the country will certainly destroy the rest of us, no?

  165. Mario Cuomo seems very capable.

  166. @Weiler agreed!

  167. @Weiler Gov Andrew Cuomo you mean?

  168. @Weiler Yes the bridge is quite capable of doing its job carrying vehicles across the Hudson!

  169. It appears Trump is now out of arrows.

  170. Trumpy was living off the achievements of the Obama administration. Worse, he was whipping this prize 'racehorse' to go faster by harassing the Fed Chair to lower interest rates, even when the market was soaring. Now that the market has crashed, the Fed has little to offer by way of lowering non-existent interest rates. This would be fantastic news if the only folks that has their savings in this market were the trumpians. After all, they deserves all the pain there is. However, we're all victims of an arrogant, incompetent blowhard.

  171. Trump focuses on "numbers" instead of the American people. The tragic irony in all this is that if Trump had instead focused actually keeping the number people sick low (instead of his characteristic bluffing), the other other numbers would be comparatively better and more easily recoverable. But Trump has shown a half-dozen times before through his bankruptcies that he only knows how to extract the last bit for himself before leaves the remaining steaming pile for everyone else to clean. This time, Trump is going to have clean up a very large mess of dead and compromised people when this passes (or more realistically, leave it to the next President to clean up - typical of the GOP).

  172. Glad his 3:30 Friday stunt didn't work. We need serious action, and barring that, at least no self-serving distractions.

  173. So the Fed bowed down to the fool in the WH and proved that he hasn’t a clue. Are we happy now?

  174. Trump pressured Fed Chair Powell to cut rates, threatening to remove him if he didn't comply. It was a stupid move. Now there are few tools left to help the market rebound. Trump did this for one simple reason - He has tied his presidency and chances of re-election to the stock market. Trump foolishly thought by having Powell announce this cut Sunday night, it would keep stocks from dropping Monday morning.This was a Hail Mary that came up way too short. Now we are in a worse position than we were previously.

  175. That strong economy Trump stole from Obama and was trying to ride to re-election just imploded.

  176. The 45th should resign, his VP should resign and Nancy Pelosi should lead the nation till November 2020.

  177. Trump has really refined his reverse-Midas touch. We're only at the very beginning of this epidemic, as far as the US is concerned, and the wheels have already fallen off. With more than half the states closing schools and day cares and the big cities closing restaurants, cinemas, clubs and bars, where can the authorities go from here apart from full-on lock downs? Stores remaining open now have security guards, even in sedate Canada. Ransacking and looting are no longer inconceivable. Markets, already roiled by Trump's trade wars and America-first, are not going to stabilize, especially since the real economy of shops, restaurants, tourism and manufacturing is in free-fall.

  178. Normally indépendant, the Fed should obey the King. American democracy has its own rules.

  179. For the gods of finance, let this be a stark lesson: they are not what keeps the world economy spinning, it is us, the consumers, the little insignificant people. When we stop spending everything shuts down, and all their monetary policy tweeks are useless. Let this also be a lesson that the best way to recover from this mess will be to put the money in our pockets, not theirs. We tried that last time and the result was a painful and slow recovery that left many millions behind. I hope they don;t make the same mistake again.

  180. I just don't get it. Don't companies do what the rest of us are forced to do when we run out of money? Try raiding their own piggy bank and NOT the consumers' retirement savings.

  181. @Zighi Corporations are people, people with the power to harm others and get away with it.

  182. The recent records set in markets were not based upon fundamentals . A zero Fed rate will also have consequences. We have no leadership at this moment. The President has no business acumen and has surrounded himself with advisors that have no long term plan or experience for dealing with a financial crisis of this magnitude. The President is not responsible for the Corona virus but his focus on himself, belief that it was much ado about nothing , and his lack of early intervention has put the nation at risk. This risk is not only financial but health related.

  183. This is not great news for US. Markets are down, consumer spending is down and people are preparing for the worst virus epidemia since Spanish flu. With millions of low paid employees with our paid sick leave, millions without health insurance and over half of the population with chronic disease this will put the whole business first oriented economy on a test that might make America not so Great Again. From the European perspective this pretty much the populists were aiming for increased nationalism means reduced cooperation. Too bad corona does not care much about that and is very happy to occupie the loopholes in border control or leaving the backdoor open for friendly populist countries that are also in top10 of confirmed corona cases by country list. My personal estimate is that it will take years for US economy to recover, China will reap the wins anyway and somehow the poor of the US still get the shorter end of the stick.

  184. @European perspective Very well said!

  185. My gut is that your estimate is right. This may be the jump start of a shocking but slow reckoning.

  186. If schools close, and restaurants, why not the stock market? What is so vital about speculation in a time of chaos?

  187. Fleecing the middle class (401k) and the small investor. It’s like taking your family farm in dire times.

  188. So trump and his cronies can continue to profit?

  189. This marks an end to the “Obama Recovery. “ Trump and his stochastic cult of oligarchs have succeeded in causing a global depression that will not see a similar recovery. We have a pandemic that culls boomers and frees up funding for programs benefitting Mellenials thru Gen x . What could possibly go wrong. ? Nuclear arsenals pointed at USA at the ready by fever addled Putin buddies and Middle Easy and Korea ?

  190. Fear and uncertainty are inevitable responses to a criminal ruling class that has spent the last three years dismantling effective government for their own selfish greed and enrichment. The key to regaining our footing is not pumping money into a broken system. Zero interest rates and cheap bank loans are useless when no one is spending or has resources to borrow. The key is mass testing for the virus. The very thing Trump failed to pursue at the outset when he rejected imports of the German made WHO test kits. And taking electronic temperatures of everyone entering a bus or store, as they are doing in Singapore. Knowing who is a carrier and who is sick allows for targeted interventions, not wholesale shutdowns. A recession and even depression are inevitable if daily commerce ceases.

  191. Mnuchin finally says at least something I agree with -- we must help small businesses. Not that I believe anything he says, because I know how these guys operate. I work for a large technology corporation and I also I co-own a small local business with my wife, which supports a network of upwards of 100 other sub-contractors, dependent on her. And while the large company has access to almost-unlimited, nearly-free loans, our small business can't get anything under 20%. When I called the SBA this weekend because I thought -- FINALLY! They are going to help us -- I found out that they couldn't do anything for us because our blame-deflecting, Trump-supporting Governor, Greg Abbott, has not yet made the declaration he needs to make for the SBA to release funds. We can't even apply for them! So, yeah, forgive me for being angry, but this Administration has a really bad habit of saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite. And to add insult to injury, I'm 100% certain that Trump, Inc., despite being one of the worst run, over-leveraged corporations in the country, will have absolutely no problem getting more huge low-interest loans so its leader, our 45th President, can continue leading his incredibly lavish, decadent lifestyle on the public nickle, while the hard-working taxpayers like my wife and I will suffer. And he'll probably default on them, too, like he always does.

  192. "Those moves were engineered to ensure that credit flows freely, spurring businesses and households to borrow and spend to keep the economy growing." I think they moved beyond that hope for growth and are literally pulling out stops to keep the economy in existence.

  193. I foresee rioting in the streets two to three weeks down the line, as the lowest 30-40% percent of the population who have zero to negative savings, live paycheck to paycheck, have no healthcare, whose families are in an equally precarious situation and cannot help out, finally have no choice but to starve. But this will not be like the French Revolution. The police and army today can mow down a thousand people in a minute. The dukes and marquises will still be in charge one year hence.

  194. @whaddoino A terrifying picture which is not unlikely. Paycheck to paycheck families will not be able to feed their kids: we can go from the illusion of prosperity - except for them - to Depression era desperation - except for the wealthy - in a fortnight. Perhaps this was why military armaments have been channeled to local police . . .

  195. @whaddoino I don't share your optimism.

  196. The Fed has now used up what little leverage it has to keep the economy going -- and it will be largely ineffective. This is why we need to switch to a much more powerful lever: universal basic income. Not only would it give consumers and small businesses immediate relief, it would allow money to flow to those companies that consumers -- not the Federal government -- choose to support by patronizing their services. This is how an intelligent economic stabilization mechanism should work, instead of one that pours cheap money into banks so big companies can get easy loans while workers and entrepreneurs are left to fend for themselves. What's more, UBI is a lever that would be effective in the worst of economic catastrophes. Indeed, it's the only mechanism that can PREVENT economic crises altogether in the event of catastrophic events. How do we finance UBI? By levying a VAT on ALL economic activity rather than sticking with a system that heavily taxes individuals and small businesses and exempts big businesses that can structure themselves to pay zero taxes on billions in revenue. That is why the VAT is also the most progressive tax of all: it taxes the wealthy to the extent of their spending while mostly exempting the poor who buy mostly essentials like food and medicine. The so-called progressive income tax is a chimera because it barely touches the true spending power of the wealthy while putting most of the burden on the middle class.

  197. @Cal Law I voted for him too...

  198. How do you think CEOs and corporate boards are feeling today about spending their Trump tax savings on stock buybacks? Not good I’m sure. Stockpiling the savings for a rainy day would have been a much better choice. But, alas, employees and mom and pop shareholders will suffer the most.

  199. America is for sale. Russia is not buying. They are shorting.

  200. A President who prophesies about his “hunches” with a straight face is no better than a cult leader who steers you to drinking at the vats of kool-aid. Trump cannot be wrong so it is a just a matter of time before he incites violence.

  201. Dr. Luciana Borio, May 7, 2018, White House - Director for Medical and Biodefense Preparedness: "Influenza is a priority to the White House, and represents both a health security and a national security threat. Are we ready to respond to a pandemic? I fear the answer is no!” May 8, 2018: Trump fired Dr. Luciana Borio, & closed down her White House department Medical and Biodefense Preparedness, which was part of the National Security Council.

  202. @I Gadfly Sounds a lot like when GeorgeJr and John Ashcroft chopped the Justice Department / FBIs counter terrorism budget in September 2001 just before 9/11.

  203. Trump's approach to everything is entirely superficial. "If this happens, do this or this, and it will be fixed." He has no conception of what a complex problem is, or how to attack one. He has zero leadership skills or qualifications. And then there's the utter stupidity of saying anything that sounds "good", no matter how senseless, useless, and misleading. Investors should have been "thrilled" that the fed cut interest rates (at his behest). "We're so good." "We're doing a great job." If the last three years didn't do do it, his virus thing has exposed him as a complete fraud, a bad joke. If only something would wake up the deluded Americans who follow this guy like the second coming.

  204. This is not a liquidity crisis. It's a combination of demand shock as demand is likely to fall to near 0 AND a supply shock as businesses shut down and supply chains are disrupted. The economy needs direct stimulus akin to what Bush did with the $600 check sent to every American only on a much larger scale. You're likely looking at massive layoffs in the service sector along with lots of bankruptcies in service related businesses ( e.g. restaurants). Direct payment to prop both people and businesses up until things get back to normal will have a far bigger effect and shorten the economic pain. Of course, Trump is too dumb to understand this.

  205. The rich need to stop hoarding their money!